Tight on Cash at Pharmacy? – 3 Free Strategies

Optimization Better Cashflow
December 14, 2021

What about “free” has you excited? What about “free“ made you want to click on this blog?

I’m guessing, if you’re like most people, that “free” means that the value > cost. Meaning, reading this article and implementing these strategies will cost you “nothing” all while growing your Pharmacy. Remember this concept.

Win. Win.

Before you read on, remember this: free means work, but it’s still free. I’ll share the best “free” strategies, but just know that work comes with it.

If you are not afraid of work, these strategies will make you $$ and improve your Pharmacy’s cashflow.

Increasing Cash Without Hurting Future Revenue

While increasing your “dry gun powder” at your Pharmacy, it is best to do so without jeopardizing your future.

Example: throw massive sale (50%) off just to sell your supplement inventory and put some cash back in your pocket.

Yes, this would improve your cash pile, but it would simultaneously slash your ability to charge full price in the future.

Here is a better way to do it:

Find 15-25 customers that routinely buy the same supplements every single month – spending around $60/month. Pull them aside and spend 5minutes explaining this below.

Offer these customers a one-time paid-in-full supplement package for what they already buy. Ask for 10 months of supplements paid upfront ($600) with 2 “free” months of supplements as bonus for taking you up on this offer. You don’t have to give them all the inventory upfront, but instead can offer to reserve it for them for the next 12 months.

This is equivalent to a 20% discount, but sounds way better to a customer.

If 20 customers take you up on this, you just collected $12,000 in cash and only had to dish out $600 in product – assuming you have 50% margins (20 customers x $30 in product cost).

You didn’t have to offer anything new. You didn’t have to buy any additional product. AND you didn’t ask for customers to pay you anything more than they were already going to.

By doing it this way, you limit the number of customers that can take you up on this offer. With this limit, you can create real FOMO.

Inventory Management

Properly managing your inventory can have a huge effect on your cashflow.

Having too much inventory leads to tight cash, expiring drugs, and a crowded Pharmacy.

Having too little inventory leads to more cash, BUT will simultaneously create issues in the Pharmacy from out of stocks, turning patients away, upset patients, and a damaged customer experience.

So, what are the most common mistakes? How do you improve it?

  • Build your sync program. This allows you to better understand the inventory you need, work ahead, and only stock your shelves with what you need for when you need it.
  • Focus on cleaning up the expensive drugs. Expensive drugs sitting on the shelf and/or becoming outdated can greatly hurt your cash. Especially for your expensive drugs, you want to have a “just in time” inventory.

MatchRx is a great solution for connecting Pharmacies that are looking to buy/get rid of inventory.

Optimizing Your Staff/Hours

Written more at length in a separate blog, staff and store hours are one of the most expensive parts of running a Pharmacy. You need your staff to get the job done, but you can’t afford to have more staff than you need.

In regards to store hours, there is a fallacy that maximum hours is the solution. That is not the case. People will value your quality of service over simply availability.

Example: Planet Fitness is often open 24hr nearly 365 days a year. They are also the cheapest gym you can find. Even with both of those factors, many other successful gyms exist.

Orangetheory being one.

Orangetheory is at least 10x more expensive per month, has limits on class sizes, and has 1/4 as many available hours for exercise.

Look at your per hour Rx’s filled and cut the hours where volume is low. This way you eliminate the “fat” on your store hours and likely save a few thousand/month in payroll.

Yes, I would inform customers in advance of this decision so they can prepare. Yes, some customers will complain, but your bank account will not. And no, you will not lose all your customers.

Make these changes, and you will be better off financially.

To effectively staff your Pharmacy we created our Schedule Optimizer Tool that allows you to predict your net margin for each day before you release your schedule.

Read more here about it here: Effectively Staffing Your Pharmacy.